9 CHASE ELLIOTT
Age: 25 (Nov. 28, 1995)
Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia
Resides: Dawsonville, Georgia
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
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No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
WELCOME TO THE ROUND OF 8: For the fifth consecutive season, Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, has advanced to the Round of 8. Elliott is currently sixth in playoff standings, 43 points behind leader Kyle Larson. The 25-year-old driver has found victory lane at two of the three tracks in the upcoming round (Kansas, Martinsville). In his previous 56 playoff races, he has collected six wins, 22 top-five finishes, 31 top-10s and led 1,653 laps.
PLAYOFF PERFORMANCE: Through the six playoff races in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Elliott has led 190 laps and spent 726 laps inside the top five and 1,254 laps running in the top 10.
2021 RUNDOWN: Only four races remain in the 2021 season and Elliott’s eight top-two finishes are tied for the most he has collected in a single year and is also the second-most of all drivers this season. With 32 races in the books, the driver of the No. 9 has also picked up two wins, 13 top-five finishes, 18 top-10s and 527 laps led.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: Elliott will make his 11th Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday. He has garnered two top-five finishes, five top-10s and led a total of 44 laps in those 10 previous starts. Earlier this season, Elliott finished third in the All-Star Race at the 1.5-mile track. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native collected his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the 1.5-mile track in April 2014. In five Xfinity Series starts there, Elliott accumulated three top-five finishes and five top-10s.
GUSTAFSON IN THE PLAYOFFS: No. 9 crew chief Alan Gustafson leads all active crew chiefs for the most wins garnered during the playoffs (12), the second-most all-time behind only Chad Knaus (29).
KELLEY BLUE BOOK IS BACK: The navy and gold colors of Kelley Blue Book will return to Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the final time this season on Sunday at Texas. KBB.com is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week, the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, www.KBB.com.
PIT CREW POWER: The No. 9 team owns the second-best average time for four-tire pit stops at 13.29 seconds during the playoffs. The Kelley Blue Book pit crew is comprised of jackman T.J. Semke, gasman John Gianninoto, tire carrier Jared Erspamer and tire changers Chad Avrit and Nick O’Dell.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: Following Kyle Larson’s performance Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Hendrick Motorsports has accumulated 49 all-time wins during the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs – 16 more than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing (33) and more than double third-place Penske Racing (24). In six playoff events this year, the team has won twice – both coming courtesy of Larson. Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane in the seventh race of the playoffs a record seven times.
OOPS … WE DID IT AGAIN: Hendrick Motorsports has now won five consecutive Cup Series playoff elimination races dating back to last season. In 2020, Chase Elliott won the final three cutoff events – held at the ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway – en route to winning the Cup Series championship. This year, Larson won at Bristol Motor Speedway, which hosted the first elimination race of the 2021 playoffs, and Sunday’s event at the ROVAL.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: Sunday’s showdown at Texas Motor Speedway will mark the eighth NASCAR Cup Series race held at a 1.5-mile venue in 2021. This season, Hendrick Motorsports has led 1,153 laps on intermediate tracks – the most ever by a team in the first seven events.
BATTING .500: In the last 20 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races, Hendrick Motorsports has recorded 10 victories. No other organization has more than four in that span.
EVERYTHING’S BIGGER: Entering Sunday’s playoff race at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports owns or shares the track records for points-paying wins (nine; tie), pole positions (seven; tie), top-five finishes (40) and top-10s (72). The organization is second in laps led there – just 13 behind leader Roush Fenway Racing.
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on kicking off the Round of 8: “Texas, obviously, has been a real tough place for us. I feel like the good news is we had a really good run there at the All-Star Race for the first time since the repave, so that was really encouraging. Sometimes you’ve got to be careful about having a good run and going back because it doesn’t always work out. The way that we’ve performed at all three of the upcoming tracks earlier in the year, I feel like we can go and have a shot to win any of them, really. I hope we can lock ourselves in and go have another shot at a championship.”
Elliott on if anything feels different about this year’s playoffs vs last year’s playoffs: “Not a lot, to be honest. Other than just a little more experience of going through the rounds and what some of those challenges were down the stretch last year. I feel like that helps prepare us a little better. Some of the guys on our team, myself included, had never been in those situations, never been in the running at Phoenix and seen what that was like. I think that’s a good thing, but at the same time I don’t know that the message really changes a ton. The big thing for us last year was just trying to enjoy those big spots, having fun with them and trying to thrive in those big moments and I honestly don’t think that ever really changes. I really don’t feel a ton different; I am excited. Again, this is my favorite time of year and a part of the season that matters most so we are ready to get after it.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!